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US judge orders again Lindsey Graham to testify in Georgia investigation

The judge is restricting the questions a grand jury can ask Graham to investigate alleged interference in the 2020 election.

A federal judge in the United States has ordered Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to answer questions in a Georgia investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to nullify the results of the 2020 election, but limited the scope of what could be asked.

In a 23-page ruling Thursday, US District Judge Lee Martin May rejected Graham’s argument that all of his calls with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Ravensburger are protected by the “speak or debate” clause of the US Constitution, which protects members of Congress from questioning formal legislative acts .

She did, however, agree with Graham’s attorney that legislative protections apply to parts of the calls specifically related to “election procedures existing in Georgia and allegations of voter fraud in the lead up to his vote for ratification”—parts she referred to were “legislative fact.” – Finding”.

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The judge ruled that the grand jury was free to ask Graham about other topics, including “any alleged efforts” to encourage state election officials to “dismiss ballot papers” as well as any coordination that might exist between Graham’s campaign and Trump.

Graham’s office did not immediately comment on the ruling and did not indicate whether he intended to appeal. Despite Thursday’s decision, a continuing appeal in the case means the senator’s appearance is not imminent.

But the judge’s decision pushes Graham – one of Trump’s biggest allies in Congress and a key figure in the former president’s post-election activities – one step further to testify before the special grand jury set up this year by Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis.

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Welles has sought testimony from a number of other close Trump allies and advisers, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Trump-allied lawyer Sidney Powell and conservative attorney Lynne Wood Jr., who said this week he had been told Welles wanted him. He appears.

On Wednesday, a judge ruled that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp must testify, while agreeing to a Republican’s request to delay that appearance until after the November 8 midterm elections. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former attorney, appeared before the grand jury in mid-August.

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May had previously rejected Graham’s attempt to overturn the Fulton County subpoena, but the 11th US Court of Appeals ordered her to consider whether to partially grant his request based on constitutional protections for current members of Congress.

The Georgia investigation is one of several investigations involving Trump, including the US Department of Justice’s investigation into whether the former president broke the law by moving classified government documents to his Florida properties.

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